Speeding teen kills best friend in Bonney Lake crash. Now she’s going to prison

Bonney Lake teen sentenced for crash that killed best friend

McKenzie Krakow, 19, was sentenced Friday for the Sept. 11, 2016, wreck that killed her friend, 18-year-old Mackenzie Rae Martin.
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McKenzie Krakow, 19, was sentenced Friday for the Sept. 11, 2016, wreck that killed her friend, 18-year-old Mackenzie Rae Martin.

Deanna Shoemaker misses her daughter’s “delicious, but messy cooking” and her excuses for late homework.

She also misses how the teen would oversleep her alarm and need a ride to school.

She misses it all, she said Friday in Pierce County Superior Court, as her daughter’s friend was sentenced for the Bonney Lake wreck that killed 18-year-old Mackenzie Rae Martin.

Judge Timothy Ashcraft sentenced 19-year-old McKenzie Krakow to a year and three months behind bars for the crash that killed one of her best friends.

“This was a choice that you made of your own free will,” Shoemaker told Krakow. “And choices carry consequences.”

The wreck happened Sept. 11, 2016, months after both girls had graduated high school. Shoemaker said her daughter was in the process of registering for nursing school.

The crash happened near 160th Street East and 186th Avenue East when Krakow drove Martin and a 16-year-old friend over a hill, speeding to catch air, and crashed into a sign and a tree.

Shoemaker said she begged police officers at the scene of the crash to let her hold her deceased daughter’s hand. They said no, because it was a crime scene, she told the court.

Krakow pleaded guilty in July to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment for the wreck. Deputy Prosecutor Tim Jones recommended the low-end sentence the judge imposed for the crimes.

He noted Krakow had no criminal history and said there was no sign that drugs or alcohol were involved in the wreck, though “there may be some indication that peer pressure was involved.”

But he stressed that Krakow was the one responsible for the vehicle, which he said was going 80 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone. And a responsible driver, he said, tells passengers that seat belts are not optional.

“At a minimum, if we’re going to fly this car over this hill, everyone buckle up,” he said.

That didn’t happen. Martin wasn’t wearing her belt, and died after she was through from the vehicle during the wreck.

“I made the biggest mistake of my life,” Krakow told the judge, when it was her turn to speak. “I think about what happened every day.”

As the driver, she said, she should have known right from wrong, she added.

Defense attorney Daryl Graves asked Ashcraft to sentence Krakow to 90 days of work release, instead of prison.

“None of these kids appreciated the risk,” said Graves, who told the judge his investigation indicated the car was going 63 mph, not 80. “They did not appreciate that one or more of them could be seriously injured or killed.”

Ashcraft said he wasn’t willing to consider work release.

The other teenager in the car, Ariana Nash, also addressed the court.

“Our friend’s death deserves the truth,” the now 17-year-old said.

Nash said there had been no chance to tell Krakow to stop, and that Krakow never told Martin to buckle up. They’d done the jump once before, she said, but at 40 mph.

The time it proved fatal, Nash said, the music was on as they traveled down the long, curvy road, and “it seemed like we weren’t going that fast.”

Martin’s sister, Tara Shoemaker, told the court that the two of them stayed up too late together, ate too much fast food,and drank too many energy drinks.

And they were obsessed with the musical “Wicked.”

“She was safe with me,” she said.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell